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Health: Home is Where Your Habits Live

Home is where my habits have a habitat.

-Fiona Apple

Home is where we store and prepare our food.  Is it junk food or nourishing food? Do we have access to good-quality food and clean drinking water? Where we rest.  Is it quality rest?  Did we get enough? Where we nourish our souls.  Do we have space to relax, imagine, and refuel?  Where we unpack our worries and feel our deepest feelings.  Are we safe to express ourselves in our homes? These are some of the many considerations when we consider our health and the health of our home.

Healthy Lifestyle Habits Mean a Longer Life

Creating healthy habits at home is so important to our overall well-being.  New research from the American Cancer Society shows that adults who follow 5 healthy lifestyle habits may live more than a decade longer than those people who did not follow any of these healthy habits.  The healthy habits are:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Not smoking
  • Staying a healthy weight
  • Limiting alcohol

In the same study, researchers noted that even though the United States is one of the richest countries in the world and spends more money per capita on healthcare than any other country in the world, we rank 31st for average life expectancy.  In the American Cancer Society article it says, “According to the authors, the US healthcare system focuses mainly on drug discovery and disease management, even though a greater emphasis on prevention could go a long way toward controlling the most common and most expensive diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.”

Prevention could start in our homes using healthy lifestyle techniques from around the world, not just western medicine. By blending the best of traditional western medicine, clean eating and living techniques, Ayurveda, Eastern philosophies, and other proven holistic methods of self-care, we are bound to see an improvement in our levels of health.

Health Equals Happiness

As reported by Consumer Affairs, a University of Kent and University of Reading study that polled over 40,000 households in the UK showed how sticking to healthy habits can improve consumers’ moods.  Participants in the study who exercised regularly and ate a diet full of fruits and vegetables were most likely to be the happiest.

Where can prevention and planning for a healthy lifestyle begin?… at home!  Setting yourself up for success is more about building healthy habits than about pure willpower.  An article in the New York Times summarizes that making a bold start with lofty health goals is less successful than taking small steps over time to increase our health.  Those of us who have killed ourselves at the gym and have been sore for a week afterward are relieved to hear this!  

Making a bold start with lofty health goals is less successful than taking small steps over time to increase our health.

Tiny Habits Yield Big Results

The author of Tiny Habits, B.J. Fogg, has the following proven system for making lasting improvements to your health:

  1. Start small: taking a short daily walk may lead to an exercise habit. Some fruit instead of chips in your lunch may lead to a healthier diet.
  2. Do it every day.  The median time to create a new habit it 66 days. Habits form faster when you do them every day.
  3. Make it easy. Clear any obstacles by cleaning out your pantry for only healthy choices or by putting on gym clothes first thing in the morning. Even better, sleep in those clothes and roll out of bed and onto the treadmill.  
  4. Reward yourself. Rewards reinforce habit formation. Create a fun exercise date with a friend, listen to your favorite podcast on a walk, and cook a healthy meal while watching your favorite show.  HGTV anyone?

As we dive into more specific lifestyle habits and home solutions that support your mental and physical well-being, we want to hear from you.  Drop us a comment below to talk about your specific well-being and health concerns. Or, drop a comment with the benefits from any health routine changes, whether they be traditional western in origin or if you have tried an eastern philosophy or holistic route.

If you are still searching for a better way to achieve health and healthy home, take the Lifestyle Lift challenge to address what needs fixing health-wise in your home and lifestyle here.

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